Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pirogi (Vareniki) with Potatoes and Onion Butter Sauce

These are a traditional Russian food, close to pirojki. The dough is different however, and, they are boiled - then can be fried (optional). This was a first time making them for us, so we were not sure what dough recipe to use. We made two different ones. One with egg, the other without. We really think the egg dough was a better fit for these. We liked the taste of it better. We did not set out to make two different doughs. We only made one, but then had more filling and so made more dough...which resulted in leftover dough. We decided to stop at that point and not make additional filling :). The interesting thing about these, is they can be very versatile and oftentimes can be filled with sweet filling as well such as cherries, apples, etc. They can also have a cheesy filling as well. Or, you can vary it up by adding different ingredients to your potato filling like chives, sour cream, cheese, chilis. The possibilities are really endless.
We chose to make these from a recipe book that was brought to us from a really good friend. Thank you! :) Picture of the book page is included below.
We did not have the kefir that the original recipe called for, so instead we used milk and egg. Water can also be substituted for milk. These are super flexible!


View from the backside :) 

Frying with butter/onion sauce

Onions cooking with oil


Ready for boiling (or freezing.)

First attempt at folding/sealing 
New Recipe Book

Page with Recipe


200 ml milk
~3 cups flour (more for rolling)
1 egg (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

~ 1 lb potatoes (we used golden yukon), steamed or boiled
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)

Onion Butter Sauce:
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil

Serve with:
Sour Cream


1. In the bowl of a large stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Start the mixer with the dough hook at a low speed and add egg and slowly pour in the milk. Let the mixer go at low speed until a smooth, tight dough ball forms. You may need to add more flour or milk. Let knead for a few minutes. Then, cover with saran wrap and let stand for about 20 minutes (optional)
2. Fry the onions in olive oil until golden brown.
3. Mash the potatoes (we use our stand mixer with whip or paddle attachment), add in fried onions and all the oil and salt. The filling needs to taste good on its own, so make sure it is not under or over salted.
4. Roll out the dough into a large sheet. Cut out 3 inch circles with either a cookie cutter or bowl.
5. Place filling in each dough circle and fold in half. Pinch shut. Place on a floured sheet, careful not to overlap any consecutive vareniki. When filled, this sheet can be placed in the freezer. Once they are frozen they can be placed into a ziplock bag and kept in the freezer for a future meal. We usually freeze the first few sheets we make and cook the last batches to eat fresh.
6. Boil salted water in a large pan.
7. Add vareniki to the boiling water.
8. Once they float - cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your dough).
9. Meanwhile, fry the chopped onion with butter and olive oil. When the vareniki are done cooking, add them to the frying pan with onions until they are golden brown on both sides.
10. Serve with sour cream and onion butter sauce

What we liked:

These taste soo good. 

What we didn't like:

These can be time consuming to make. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He wasn't here when we made these.

Next time:

no changes needed

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